Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Everyday Life is Karina Fabian’s debut into the world of nonfiction book writing, but I hope it’s not the end of her work in that realm. Though she got her start in nonfiction, writing for her diocesan newspaper, she’s primarily focused on creating her own worlds now.
From the sounds of it, Why God Matters was almost an accident.
After reading it, and delighting in it just as I’ve delighted in Karina’s other work, I think of this book, instead, as a blessing.
Oh, I know that God matters. And I could probably give you a bunch of reasons why He matters and how I recognize Him. I doubt, though, that I would be able to capture the tangibility or the clarity that Karina and Deacon Steve share in each chapter.
There’s a temptation with this book, and it’s one that I’m guilty of giving in to far too often. I’ll pick up a book that’s not imposingly long, and I’ll rush through it. It will be great, and I’ll enjoy it, but I’ll have rushed through it. I did that with Why God Matters, but what I’m doing something differently this time. I’m putting it back into my devotional reading, so that I’ll be revisiting each chapter in the coming month during my morning reading time.
This book is too good to rush through. It’s too poignant and genuine to gloss over with a skimming read. It’s saying too much that’s true and important for me to not reread it…and soon.
In the course of just over 100 pages and 14 chapters, the father-daughter team manages to take God off that pedestal you may keep Him on for easy viewing and make Him accessible, huggable, and real. They take a concept — God — and remind us that He is a Person, one who has touched them, who has changed them, who continues to work in them. Somehow, in all of this, they remain brief. They do not ever cross the line and become overwhelming. They give you their take, some Scripture, a bite from the Catechism, and a life lesson. The Holy Spirit does the rest.
What touched me most was a chapter I heard discussed on Catholic Moments a few weeks ago. In it, Karina admits that one of her sons does not believe. What kind of courage did that take to share? And what kind of enormous blessing is that to all the rest of us, who may have children of our own who will test their faith by leaving it, who may never come back in our lifetimes, who may wonder if there’s hope?
This book is not only one that I would recommend to all Christians, denomination notwithstanding, but one that I might even venture to hand to those on-the-verge folks I know, the ones who are spiritual but not into organized religion.